(Family Features) Freshen up your home with a simple pantry staple that can handle all your cleaning needs without the harsh chemicals or heavy price tag. Here are some fast and easy ways to get your home looking, feeling and smelling fresh in no time with baking soda.
Destroy Kitchen Odors
- Deodorize smelly drains and disposals, and keep lingering odors from resurfacing by pouring baking soda down the drain while running warm tap water.
- Absorb lingering food odors in the dishwasher with just a sprinkle 1/2 cup of baking soda in the bottom.
- Soak stale-smelling sponges in a strong baking soda solution to neutralize the odor (4 tablespoons baking soda dissolved in 1 quart of warm water).
- Keep recyclables from smelling unpleasant by sprinkling baking soda on top as you add to the container. You can also clean the recycling container with baking soda on a damp sponge.
Safely Clean Kids' Rooms and Toys
- Freshen up stuffed animals that can collect everyday odors by sprinkling with baking soda. Let sit for 15 minutes and then brush off to remove residue.
- Refresh your closet and keep clothes smelling like new with an open box of baking soda on the shelf. Remember to replace every 30 days or use the Fresh-N-Natural Baking Soda Box.
- For a safe, gentle clean, soak plastic baby toys in a solution of 4 tablespoons baking soda dissolved in 1 quart of warm water. Wash them off with a clean, damp sponge or cloth, rinse and dry.
- Deodorize the diaper pail with baking soda, sprinkling some on top of dirty diapers to neutralize odors until you can empty the container.
Tackle the Bathroom
- Glub in the tub? For safe, effective, scratch-free cleaning of bathroom tubs and sinks sprinkle baking soda lightly on a clean damp sponge, scrub as usual and rinse.
- Clean and deodorize a vinyl shower curtain by sprinkling baking soda directly on a clean, damp sponge. Scrub the shower curtain, rinse clean and hang it up to dry.
- To get rid of dirt and grime from tile or no-wax floors, mix 1/2 cup baking soda in a bucket of warm water. Mop and rinse the floor clean.
Bring Life to the Living Areas
- Guests on their way? Freshen carpets, upholstered furniture and pet beds fast by sprinkling baking soda on the surface. Wait 15 minutes and then vacuum.
- Keep the litter box fresh, too. Cover the bottom of the box with baking soda, and then fill as usual with litter. In between litter changes, sprinkle baking soda on top of the litter.
- If you're looking for a convenient cleaning product, try the new ARM & HAMMERtm 5 lb Water Resistant Plastic Pouch, which comes with a handy scoop and is now available in the cleaning aisle. You can find more helpful tips to keep your whole house fresh and clean at www.armandhammer.com.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (woman vacuuming)